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How to Get Ketchup Stains Out of Clothes

Posted by Andres Jimenez on
how to get ketchup out of clothes


Did you know that ketchup stains are among the most common of all types of stains?  Well, now you do.  Luckily. they’re not the most difficult to remove.  With some pretty simple and straightforward steps, you can completely get rid of a ketchup stain so that you don’t have to throw out your favorite clothing items.

What Makes Ketchup Stains So Tough to Remove Anyway?

Ketchup stains aren’t as stubborn as, say, blood stains or red wine stains, but they’re a little bit tricky because ketchup contains a high amount of vinegar, and vinegar is an agent that opens up the fibers of most clothing materials, allowing the red color to quickly sink in rather than staying on the surface of your clothing.  In other words, the red stain gets deeper into the fabric, and the deeper it is, the more work it takes to remove.

What is the Process of Removing a Ketchup Stain from Clothing?

If you’re reading this because you’ve just noticed some ketchup on one of your articles of clothing, simply follow the steps below.

Step #1: Get Rid of the Excess

The first thing that you can do is start wiping off any excess ketchup on the surface of the garment using a damp paper towel or cloth.  If the ketchup has dried somewhat, and the sugars have started to congeal, you can use the dull flat side of a knife or a similar type of object to scrape off the top layer.

Step #2: Flush Away the Stain with Cold Water

Now, run the stain under cold water as soon as possible to flush away the red coloring.  Cold water is ideal as warm or hot water may accidentally set the stain into the material, making it more likely to become permanent as you’re basically cooking the pigment into the fibers of the garment.  Keep rinsing until the color fades.  This alone may completely get rid of the stain.

Step #3: Apply Detergent

If the stain is still there, that’s not a problem.  Apply some laundry detergent directly to the stain, and then use your fingers to work it into the fibers.  Let the material sit for about 5 minutes before rinsing the detergent away with more cold water.

Step #4: Rinse the Garment

Now, you can rinse out the detergent thoroughly, again using cold water.  Make sure to rinse the front and the back of the clothing item.  At this point, the stain can very well be gone for good.

Possible (Final Step): Grab Some Club Soda

If there’s still a tinge of ketchup on your clothing, try soaking the stain in club soda for about 15 minutes before rinsing it one final time.

The Key Takeaway

Ketchup stains are definitely not the end of the world, as you can see.  In fact, they don’t require all that much effort to remove them, compared to some of the tougher stains that are out there.  These simple stain removal tips can knock out almost any ketchup stain in under an hour, and remember, the key is addressing the stain as soon as you notice it.

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